Lithys 2017: Virgin Mobile Australia- Social Support Champion

Lithys 2017: Virgin Mobile Australia- Social Support Champion

In 2016, with a little* bit of love and attention, we have been able to grow our Community in every way. More posts, more users, more traffic, and....less calls. 




Company:  Virgin Mobile Australialogo-virginmoaus.png

Entry submitted by: Nicola Collins

Community:  Virgin Mobile AU Community

Social Channels: Virgin Mobile AU Facebook Page, @VirginMobileAus

Lithy category: Social Support Champion


Virgin Mobile Australia is a cheeky Telco with around 1 million customers. We provide our customers with both postpaid & prepaid mobile phone and mobile broadband products. We were founded by the one and only Sir Richard Branson, but are now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Optus.


In 2016, we took the reins and with a little* bit of love and attention, we have been able to grow our community in every way. More posts, more users, more traffic, and....less calls. Here are some of our highlights.

*By little we mean a lot!


Clean Up Community Day

We brought together a working team of SMEs to spring clean our content!


We updated our Knowledge Base to ensure it was on-point and up-to-date. This helped to ensure customers would find only relevant solutions and worked to build trust between customer and community.


Using both LSI and SEO reporting, we were able to identify knowledge gaps and ensure we created content we knew our customers were looking for.


Let’s get on brand!

In 2016 we gave our community a much-needed face lift; actually it was more like a complete redesign from the ground up.


We wanted customers to:

  • Be able to quickly and easily find solutions
  • Understand the difference between content from us (knowledge base) and content from other users (forums)
  • Participate and contribute
  • Have an exceptional experience on any device

AND we wanted to do all this in our uniquely ‘Virgin’ way.


As well as a whole new community structure, UX and design, we also created new avatars to add a bit of fun to the space, as well as creating personalised avatars for our superusers.



Community First

Once we launched our new look community, we moved to implement our Community First communications program. This program involved linking to the community first for any type of enquiry, from any channel.


When we experienced technical difficulties and network outages, customers were directed to the community for the most up-to-date information. We now aim to have an article live within 15 minutes of an outage to ensure we maintain trust and reliability in the platform.


We also rolled out internal linking strategy to make sure common support queries were directed first to Self-Serve. From our App to our IVR, all pointed to community first.



Next came our Superuser program. After investing time reading threads, asking questions and reviewing blog posts in the Lithium Community, as well as completing online training courses provided by Lithium, our community & content knowledge specialists were armed with the information they needed to develop our first superuser program, which included:

  • Identifying our most valued posters (MVPs) via Lithium-powered community metrics, contacting them and inviting them to be superusers
  • Determining what privileges our superusers would have
  • Developing a new rank and reputation structure
  • Creating roles within our support community
  • Creating a private forum to chat with these users on a personal level
  • Creating ‘Welcome Packs’ for our superusers


Our superusers have had a pretty awesome ride so far!


Take Doug, our first ever Community Support superuser AND star of our most recent Virgin Mobile commercial! Yeah, you read that right.


It went down like this; after successfully applying to the program, our superusers were tasked with helping to curate our community and be part of our Mobile Tester Team, which saw them post reviews for new phones & devices on our YouTube channel. Our superusers became more engaged with the community AND with our brand, so we invited them to be part of a Very-Virgin campaign! Two of our superusers were able to commit and had an absolute blast—talk about superuser perks!



 Doing it differently

And we didn’t just do it in the community. We love to surprise and delight our customers so much, that we actually implemented a formal Surprise & Delight program, which saw us connecting with over 75 customers across all of our social platforms.


This included reaching out to ten of our most loyal and socially active customers—surprising them with gifts signed by Richard Branson, and two of our very lucky and long standing social media customers got to meet Richard Branson himself. If that’s not the best way to surprise and delight a customer, we don’t know what is! Our Facebook post had a reach of more than 1 million!




In 2016, we also used our social reach to talk about the causes that are really important to us, such as RUOK Day, Meditation and mindfulness or donating meals through our #mealforameal initiative. We truly believe in the ability of our social communities to make a difference.  




In 2016, our service space was facing a number of challenges. With aggressive cost and call reduction targets, as well as reducing our contact centre operating hours, how were we going to continue to provide outstanding customer service and safeguard NPS?


We knew customers were regularly calling us with common enquiries that could be solved online. And although originally launched in late 2012, our Virgin Community had not been a focus for some time. It had become underused and undervalued.


User testing clearly showed us the space was not intuitive or easy to use, and combined with out-of-date or irrelevant content, had eroded trust in the space and resulted in customers instead preferring simply to call us.


It was time to get to work on executing our Digital First strategy.


Our plan focused on optimising our digital service channels to ensure they were the first port of call for any type of enquiry AND designed to connect customers with solutions as quickly and simply as possible.


We wanted:

  • Community Support to be the destination customers went to first
  • Peers to help peers, share ideas and feedback, read, learn and support each other
  • To improve the experience and usability of the space to ensure customers could find what they needed AND that they would want to come back
  • To foster a willing community, with members providing solutions and usable content for other members

AND we wanted to do all this in our uniquely ‘Virgin’ way.




2016 was a great year for our community, so far we’ve:

  • Launched a new community structure and design
  • Doubled our registered users
  • Increased page views by 17% and visitors by 16% YOY
  • Supported over 1.6 million visitors
  • Resolved over 700,000 enquiries
  • Over 400 accepted solutions
  • Over 2,000 kudos given
  • Expanded our superuser program, which accounted for 6.1% of posts, and 15% of solutions, and 2 TV commercials.

And we’ve increased our PostPaid Mobile Customer NPS by +7 on the way!


I love it 👍🏻